I am pleased to announce that the Australian Government will acquire at least 250 additional Bushmaster Infantry Mobility Vehicles, subject to satisfactory contract negotiations. These additional Bushmasters worth more than A$300 million will be built by Thales Australia at its Bendigo facility.
The additional Bushmasters are on top of the Australian Government’s current commitment to purchase 443 bushmasters and will provide a valuable injection to the economy and community of Bendigo.
Bushmasters provide important protection to Australian troops deployed overseas and are currently deployed on operations in the Middle East. This protection reduces the risk to our service men and woman from the threats increasingly experienced on operations including land mines, suicide bombers, improvised explosive devices and they provide protection from bullets and other projectiles.
The Bushmasters are a critical part of ensuring that our land forces have sufficient firepower, protection and mobility to provide a clear advantage in any likely operation in defence of Australia or our immediate region.
The Australian Government will commence negotiations with Thales for these vehicles in the near future and will continue to strongly support Defence exports and the export of the Bushmaster.